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Lebanon-Israel sea border demarcation talks postponed

Lebanon-Israel sea border demarcation talks postponed
4th round of talks postponed indefinitely, Israeli media report

By AbdelRaouf Arnaout

JERUSALEM (AA) – The fourth round of indirect talks between Lebanon and Israel for the demarcation of their maritime border has been postponed indefinitely, according to Israeli media.

"The talks that were supposed to take place on Wednesday have been postponed for the first time since the talks began between the two countries," the Israeli Broadcasting Corporation said.

No reason was specified for the postponement of talks.

Lebanon is locked in a dispute with Israel over an area in the Mediterranean Sea spanning about 860 square kilometers (some 332 square miles), known as Zone No. 9, which is rich with oil and gas.

In 2016, Beirut announced the launch of the first round of licenses for exploration in the area.

The first round of the demarcation talks was held on Oct. 14 in the presence of US State Department's top official for the region David Schenker, who chaired the opening session, and former US Ambassador to Algeria John Desrocher, who mediated the talks.

Last month, Lebanese President Michel Aoun said the border demarcation talks with Israel were “technical”.

The maritime borders between Lebanon and Israel have not seen any military conflicts, unlike their land borders.

Lebanese group Hezbollah controls the area bordering Israel, and sporadic tensions take place from time to time as Tel Aviv accuses the Shia group of attempting to breach the border.

* Bassel Barakat contributed to this report from Ankara

source: News Feed
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